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Thursday, June 24, 2004


I accept that Ralph Nader and his followers are a separate party with separate interests. I think it's a shame because until the system is rather dramatically changed (IRF, disbanding the electoral college etc.) we will continue to have a two party system, which means that those who vote for third party candidates aren't going to be represented. (Certainly, if the Nader vote is again decisive in such an extremely important election, then it will be clear that those voters are not interested in being represented by Democrats.) And, of course, in a close race, we certainly could use those Green and/or Nader votes.

However, it is obvious that if seeing first hand what the modern GOP is capable of when it holds all the levers of power isn't enough to persuade the four to five percent consistently polling for Nader that they should vote for the Democrats --- if only to save the country from total ruin --- then I have to believe that they sincerely consider themselves to be outside the two party system that actually governs our politics.

Therefore, for electoral purposes, they must be considered part of the realm of non-voters who don't participate. And because, for political reasons, they have consciously decided to stay outside the system as it exists, they are actually less persuadable than the apathetic many.

I respect their position, but that means that they are no longer particularly relevant to our immediate cause, which is getting Bush out of power. If they can't see the necessity for that right now, they never will. So, the Greens and/or Nader voters, good people all, are off my political radar screen because they are not persuadable. Good luck to them and I mean that sincerely.

What to make of this, then?

Nader Urges Kerry to Pick Edwards

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader was not content to simply pick his own running mate this week. On Wednesday, he weighed in on Sen. John F. Kerry's deliberations, suggesting he tab Sen. John Edwards for the Democratic presidential ticket.

In an open letter to Kerry, Nader said Edwards had "already gone through a primary campaign and has his rhythm and oratory … all well honed."

I have reconciled myself to this Nader run -- and I don't have a problem letting him in the debates, even --- but if he's going to run explicitly against our candidate, isn't it a bit presumptuous to weigh in on who he should pick as a running mate? I have to assume that he wants Kerry to pick Edwards because he thinks Edwards would make him lose. Because Nader can't possibly be intent upon helping Kerry or he wouldn't be working feverishly to get himself on the ballot to run against him.

So, what can we make of Ralph Nader, folks? He and his followers have made it clear that they don't respect Democrats any more than Republicans. Indeed, they made a decision to try to change the political system from outside the two parties because the system is so corrupt that neither party is worth being a part of. So, what in the hell is Ralph doing then with this silly dance?

Greens and Naderites, you're going to have to decide what you are. If you want to play electoral politics from within, then join one of the parties and get your hands dirty with governance. But, if you want to create a real third party that exists to change the entire system, then tell your boy to mind his own fucking business.

If, on the other hand, this is all a ploy to get the Democrats to kiss Green and Naderite ass every five minutes, begging them to please vote for us, then I'd say it's a waste of paper. At this point, the Democrats will have better luck persuading the growing numbers of aghast moderate Republicans to vote with us this time than getting the Nader vote to switch. The aghast moderate Republicans, after all, are people who after seeing the havoc that's been wrought by the boy king are motivated to replace him for the good of the country. The Naderites, apparently, aren't. That's just the way it is. We've gotta go where the votes are.